An empty swing at the Bali rice terraces.

Is Bali Safe? A Solo Female Perspective

It’s official: Bali is on the map as a tropical getaway where stress melts away and coconut smoothies are abundant.

But whether you’re traveling to Bali solo, with your family, or a partner, you’re understandably wondering—Is Bali safe?

Bali is a safe destination, though practicing standard safety precautions is always wise. The U.S. Department of State doesn’t have any warnings against traveling there, and the Balinese are friendly, welcoming people.

One of the biggest potential dangers in Bali is getting in a scooter accident. While petty theft can happen, violent crime is uncommon.

First Things First: A Disclaimer

I spent one month in Bali and had an extremely positive experience safety-wise.

But the information I share here, with the exception of statistics from linked sources, is my personal opinion based on my encounters.

Everyone has unique experiences that shape their perception of any given destination.

So, take what you want from this article and leave the rest. And above all, never let your guard down just because I or anyone else tells you that a destination is safe.

Trusting your gut and following basic safety practices are vital to improving your security in any destination.

Safety in Bali: What the U.S. Department of State Says

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) is an excellent resource for getting a feel for Indonesia’s overall safety. In their travel advisory, they list Indonesia as a Level 2, meaning you should exercise increased caution.

I’ve put together the chart below so that you can see where Level 2 falls within the DOS’ other safety levels.

1Exercise normal precautions
2Exercise increased caution
3Reconsider travel
4Do not travel

Keep in mind that this Level 2 category is for Indonesia as a whole. It doesn’t paint a perfect picture of Bali’s safety—in a good way.

That’s because the DOS states that travelers should avoid visiting the following two areas in Indonesia:

  • Central Sulawesi
  • Papua

If it weren’t for Central Sulawesi and Papua, which the DOS states are at an increased risk for violent demonstrations and conflict, it’s possible that they’d drop Bali’s safety ranking to a Level 1.

Nevertheless, the DOS maintains that natural disasters and terrorism are a risk in Indonesia as a whole. While I didn’t feel threatened by human or mother nature during my time in Indonesia, there were signs of the possibility.

For example, before you enter fancy beach clubs, malls, and other upscale areas, you and your belongings often need to pass through a metal detector. That’s to prevent terrorism, I was told.

I also encountered several road closures due to rain or mudslides washing them away. And I visited at the start of the rainy period; I can’t imagine how bad it must get later in the season.

Although these situations sound scary, it’s worth looking at them objectively; the risk of natural disasters and terrorist incidents happening in one’s home country is a possibility for many.

Safety in Bali: What the Statistics Say

After checking the DOS’ website, Numbeo is my next point of reference for narrowing down the safety of a destination.

In hindsight, I’m surprised by Numbeo’s data compared to my experience. I knew the Indonesia crime rate was high on several other islands. But Bali ranks as “moderate” on most of Numbeo’s crime rate categories. I would have pegged it as “low,” based on my experience.

According to Numbeo, overall crime in Bali is at a “moderate” level. Vandalism, robbing, and worries about things being stolen from a car all fall under the moderate category.

There are only two areas where Bali’s crime rates rank as “high”: Crime increasing in the past three years and problems with corruption and bribery.

I can’t speak to the first point, but the second point is an experience many tourists face, particularly those who drive a scooter without an international license.

By law, you must have an international license to drive in Bali. However, most scooter companies don’t ask for proof of this license, and the police are known to take advantage of this by pulling tourists over to check for the license and demanding a bribe if they don’t have it.

As a silver lining, Numbeo ranks Bali as “high” in a good way; they score Bali’s safety as above average for the category “Safety walking alone during daylight.”

It’s worth noting that for better or worse, you should take Numbeo’s safety rankings with a grain of salt. They use a combination of user opinions and data they collect from what they consider authoritative sources to determine a destination’s safety ranking.

So, I recommend using the DOS’ information to determine whether Bali is safe enough to travel to and use Numbeo’s data as a loose reference.

Visiting Bali as a Solo Female Traveler

I’m going to get subjective on you in this section, as I traveled to Bali alone and can speak from personal experience. So, is Bali safe for solo female travelers?

In my opinion, it is.

I never felt unsafe in Bali traveling alone as a woman. The men were respectful, never making catcalls or looking at me in a way that made me feel uncomfortable.

Street vendors were a different story—they’ll stare down and talk up all tourists regardless of gender in the hopes of making a sale. But from my experience, a firm “No, thank you” lets them know you’re serious about keeping your rupiahs in your pocket.

An umbrella at the Jatiluwih rice terraces.

When I explored Bali at night, I felt perfectly safe in areas like Kuta and Ubud, which were well-lit and populated.

That said, I always took a Gojek or Grab to travel between destinations and Bali’s amazing night markets. There’s a lot of countryside in Bali, and the streets get dark and desolate fast once you step away from the main tourist centers.

I rented an Airbnb about a 30-minute walk from Ubud. I had no fears about walking alone during the day (minus the very real possibility of getting hit by a scooter, thanks to most of Bali’s streets not having proper sidewalks).

But walking home alone at night isn’t something I would have felt comfortable doing for the reason above: Bali’s streets get very dark when you’re outside of the happenings.

And although I found the Balinese to be honest, kind people, I felt more comfortable taking a scooter taxi at night, no matter how short the distance.

Safety in Bali by District

When you’re asking yourself, “Is Bali safe to travel to?” here’s the good news: There aren’t entire places to avoid in Bali for safety reasons.

Instead, it’s more about avoiding situations that could put you in danger, such as getting inebriated alone at a bar and keeping your wallet in your back pocket that could call a pickpocket’s attention.

Below is a brief rundown of safety in Bali based on some of the most popular tourist districts.

Is Ubud Safe?

Ubud is very safe, with low crime rates and a concentrated town with shops that stay open well after dark. Because of how crowded the streets get, pickpocketing can happen, so keep your belongings close.

Typically the biggest threat when exploring Ubud is chaotic traffic and narrow or non-existent sidewalks. So, take care when crossing the street or walking on the road.

Offers from street vendors and taxi drivers can wear on travelers exploring Ubud. These people are harmless, but they may walk down the sidewalk with you for a bit, trying to convince you to purchase their product or service.

Is Kuta Safe?

Kuta is safe and a popular place for tourists to go for beaches and partying. Should you choose to party, take the same precautions that you should anywhere—go in a group and ensure at least one person remains sober.

You should also take care of not leaving open drinks unattended.

As with Ubud, street vendors and taxi drivers can be persistent in trying to get your business.

Is Seminyak Safe?

Seminyak is very safe. This beach town sits north of Kuta and has a more laid-back atmosphere, though there are still plenty of parties.

You can expect to have a safe experience in Seminyak by following the same safety recommendations as Kuta.

Is Canggu Safe?

Canggu is very safe. It’s yet another beach district in Bali, seated north of Seminyak. Bars and parties are present in Canggu, so take standard safety precautions if you go out at night.

I found the street vendors to be slightly less abundant and persistent in Canggu. But they’re still present, and standing your ground should you not want to buy anything should encourage them to leave you alone.

Is Uluwatu Safe?

Uluwatu is safe on land but dangerous by water due to strong waves if you’re not an experienced swimmer. Many of the beaches in Uluwatu require climbing down steep cliffs (Green Bowl Beach was my favorite if you want to check it out).

I traveled all over Uluwatu alone, using Gojek and Grab scooter rides to get around. It’s a much quieter area than the Kuta/Seminyak/Canggu region, so pickpocketing cases are few, given the lack of crowds.

Nevertheless, as with any beach in Bali, you shouldn’t leave anything valuable on the beach if you go for a swim.

Is Bali Safe at Night?

Bali is safe at night if you use common sense.

Is walking down a dark street without any businesses open smart?


But if you stick to populated areas and take Gojeks or Grabs to get between your accommodation and destination (assuming you’re not staying in the heart of a bustling tourist area), you should be just fine in Bali at night.

Animal Safety in Bali

It may sound like a strange title, but hear me out—the monkeys in Bali are adorable from a distance, but they can lash out over fear or protection of their babies if you get too close.

There are many areas in Bali where you can encounter monkeys. Some of the most notable are areas in and around monkey sanctuaries, such as the Ubud Monkey Forest.

You’ll also encounter monkeys in the Uluwatu region. You might even see a monkey trying to open the door to a cell phone store (speaking from experience!).

Monkeys aside, if you wander off in the jungle, you could also encounter problems. Bali is home to several poisonous snakes, including the King Cobra.

Street dogs are another (adorable) animal to keep an eye out for. My Airbnb host told me that the street dogs in our district were friendly by day but moved in territorial groups at night. That was very much the case, though I can’t speak for the situation on the rest of the island.

Mosquitos aren’t an animal, but they’re worth including in this section. Using bug repellent is advisable, for the mosquitos in Bali can carry diseases like:

  • Dengue
  • Zika
  • Chikungunya
  • Japanese encephalitis

Needless to say, you don’t want any of these serious illnesses ruining your trip and health.

Is There a Drug Problem in Bali?

Drugs are an issue in most parts of the world, and Bali is no exception.

According to Numbeo, Bali gets a “moderate” rating for “people using or dealing drugs.”

So is Bali safe from drug cartels?

There isn’t a high degree of organized crime like drug cartels in Bali compared to certain other parts of the world. Nevertheless, there are drug dealers and mules in Bali.

The best way to avoid trouble is not to purchase drugs. Another perk? Drugs are illegal in Bali, so you’ll steer clear of jail time.

Biggest Dangers in Bali

The biggest dangers in Bali are often at the hands of mother nature. Earthquakes, typhoons, mudslides, and volcano eruptions are all a possibility.

As for human dangers, scooter accidents are common in Bali.

Many tourists think they can hop on a scooter without prior experience and explore Bali’s mountains and coastline. And it’s no wonder—dozens of scooter companies will be vying for your business.

But take it from me (and my two falls)—if you’ve never driven a scooter before, spend lots of time practicing in an area away from people and buildings before hitting the road.

The good news? There are many group tours in Bali you can take.

Transportation Safety in Bali

I’ve touched on scooters throughout this article. But let’s take a deeper look at how safe Bali is in terms of getting around the island.

Is it safe to take Gojek or Grab in Bali?

It’s very safe to take a Gojek or Grab in the sense that most drivers are honest, kind people. Gojek and Grab are apps that work like Uber and have similar safety features.

If you need a ride for two or more people, you must hire a car Gojek or Grab. But if you’re traveling alone in Bali, you can opt to ride on the back of a scooter, which is a more economical option and a faster way to arrive at your destination.

However, when people ask the question, “Is Bali dangerous?” it’s often because of stories they’ve heard of accidents, particularly with scooters.

As with anywhere, there’s a true risk with riding on a scooter in Bali compared to riding in a car.

The good news is that helmets are legally required in Bali. So, your scooter driver will arrive with a helmet. Unlike in certain parts of Asia (I’m looking at you, Vietnam), the scooter helmets in Bali cover the head well.

A helmet with the word "Grab."

Is it safe to take a street taxi in Bali?

Generally speaking, it’s safe to take a street taxi in Bali. The most common issue tourists encounter when taking Balinese street cabs is that the driver overcharges them.

However, when the option is available, it’s always best practice to use an app like Grab or Gojek to call a taxi, especially if you need to get around late at night.

Is it safe to drive in Bali?

It’s safe to drive in Bali in the sense that you don’t have to worry about running into super dangerous parts of town.

However, there’s little respect for traffic laws in Bali, and scooters are abundant. There’s also a higher chance that you’ll get pulled over by a police officer as a foreigner, with them asking for a bribe to let you go.

Is it safe to take a bus in Bali?

Taking a bus in Bali is safe, but it’s unlikely you’ll need to use one. Bali isn’t well connected with public transportation.

For this reason, traveling by Gojek or Grab is the most common way to get around the island.

Beach Safety in Bali

Is Bali safe? A surfer couple looking out over ocean waves.

Bali’s beaches are beautiful. But they’re not notorious for boasting great swimming water.

A part of this is because of how polluted the water is, especially during the rainy season. But mostly, it’s because many beaches in Bali have strong waves fit for experienced surfers and an ocean floor of coral that can leave you bleeding.

So, is Bali safe for swimming?

It can be, but you’ll need to check on the flags at public beaches to determine the water’s safety. Generally speaking, most beaches in Uluwatu are better for surfing than swimming, while Nusa Dua and other beaches in protected bays are safer for swimming in Bali.

A Note on Cyclone Season

Cyclones typically happen in Bali from November to April. It’s common for Indonesia to receive several cyclones (also called typhoons) per year.

November to April also corresponds with the rainy season in Bali. Mudslides are common during these months, and roads often wash out. Therefore, it’s best to allow extra time on the road and avoid flooded streets.

Earthquake Safety in Bali

Is Bali safe from earthquakes?

Earthquakes are extremely common in Bali and Indonesia as a whole, with the country experiencing many small earthquakes regularly. You won’t even know these earthquakes are happening most of the time.

Aside from the danger of earthquakes themselves, the additional threat is a tsunami happening after the earthquake. Therefore, if you’re in Bali when a large earthquake strikes the area, stay away from the ocean and listen to local authorities to know when it’s safe to resume beachside explorations.

Volcano Safety in Bali

Bali is home to active volcanos. Most notably, Mount Agung is the tallest volcano in Bali and has also been active relatively recently.

In 2017, Mount Agung became so active that thousands of people had to evacuate the area. The volcano’s smoke even disrupted air travel.

While it’s unlikely that a volcanic eruption will impact your trip, the good news is that there’s usually a warning before the potentially dangerous volcanic activity occurs.

Is the Water Safe to Drink in Bali?

The water isn’t safe to drink in Bali. However, cheap bottled water is plentiful, which you can purchase in shops and at streetside vendor stalls.

Since the water isn’t potable in Bali, you should avoid eating food washed in tap water. Raw salads are a common culprit of the unfortunately infamous Bali Belly.

How To Stay Safe in Bali

Below are some basic safety precautions to take in Bali. As you’ll see, there’s nothing unique about them—it’s wise to practice these tips regardless of where you travel.

  • Take a taxi at night
  • Don’t walk around showcasing expensive electronics
  • Only take out money from ATMs inside a bank
  • Never carry around all your credit cards and cash
  • Use a money belt
  • Don’t wear flashy jewelry
  • Ask locals for advice
  • Don’t leave an unopened drink unattended
  • If you’re going to get inebriated, do so with a trustworthy sober companion

Finally, trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

So, Is Bali Safe to Visit?

Is Bali safe? Palm trees in rice terraces.

Bali is safe to visit as long as you take some basic safety precautions. As a solo female traveler, I felt completely safe exploring Bali alone.

If you have questions about safety in Bali, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help.

I’d also love to hear about your experience in Bali after your trip. Did you feel safe? Was there a particular destination where you felt safer than others?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top